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Bear Essentials: Boston @ Washington

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Good morning True Believers!  Just like you, I am very excited to take in tonight's game on VERSUS. But first I am going to take a look at Manny and Patrice's workouts. So, look for an update on the pair's progress later today and in the interim, enjoy a short notebook prepared by Helin Siris. JB

BRUINS NOTEBOOK, March 3, 2008
Warning: the B’s are streaking…

With Saturday's 3-2 shootout win, the Bruins have extended their point streak to eight games and enter Monday night's game at 7-0-1.  It is their longest such streak since the 2005-06 season when they went 4-0-5.  The win also extended their current win streak to six games, their longest such streak since the 2003-04 season. 

Forward Marc Savard has a seven-game assist & point streak in progress with 1-10-11 totals.  Savard currently holds the league title for the most assists with a total of 59.  He also leads the Bruins in points with a total of 73 on the season. 

Fellow forward Marco Sturm has a seven-game point streak in progress with 3-7-10 totals and, amongst the Bruins, currently holds second place in total points with 47. 

Since tallying his first NHL goal on February 26th, rookie forward David Krejci has kept the goal streak alive by scoring in each of the next two games.

As Krejci put it, “I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden the puck has started going in the net.  Hopefully it will be like this until the end of the season.”

Getting closer…
As of Saturday's game, the Bruins had secured the sixth seat in the Eastern Conference and are now tied with the New York Rangers with 76 points -- only five points out of first place, currently held by the Montreal Canadiens (81 points).

At 64, the B’s also have the most games left to play in the Eastern Conference, and hold as many as five games in hand against teams in the East. They hold no less than two games in hand against anyone in the top eight.

And the lid goes to…
Goalie Tim Thomas received the B's hardhat for his big saves in Saturday's game.  He stopped a total of 26 shots and an additional three shootout attempts.

On wearing the Bruins hard hat (awarded to Bruin who puts forward extraordinary effort), Thomas joked, “It feels a little awkward.  I’m right in between sizes.  I need to tighten it up a bit, but if I do, it squeezes my brain."

Quick draw Kessel…
Sophomore forward Phil Kessel added another goal to his shootout docket on Saturday. That  put him in first place in the league for shootout game deciding goals.

With less than two full years in the league, Phil is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to shootouts. Kessel has a total of 5 shootout game-deciding goals this season and nine in his career.

Kessel also notched an assist in Saturday's game and is 15-16-31 on the season.

Garden Level…
Saturday's game marked the ninth sell-out of the season at the TD Banknorth Garden.

By far one of the loudest games of the campaign, with 17,565 in attendance, the apex of the night came during the final moment of the penalty shot contest when Thomas shut down the Thrashers final shooter, Ilya Kovalchuk to win the B’s two more hard earned points.

The crowd was on their feet much of the night, faithfully cheering, clapping, and chanting, “Let’s go Bruins” and when the win came to fruition, it turned into one big Bruins celebration. 

If you haven’t already, join in the Garden atmosphere as the Bruins continue to hunt for the playoffs. Click here to purchase tickets.

John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
1:20 p.m.
Looks like it's Tim Thomas in goal this evening, my friends. Not too much else going on with the Washington contingent.

3:45 p.m.
Hey, running around trying to grab video for my Patrice Bergeron/Manny Fernandez story. Look for that story, including some video and audio on the front page. In the meantime, Tim Thomas has gotten some more recognition. JB
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From Sundin, Thomas and Knuble named week's '3 Stars'

NEW YORK – Toronto Maple Leafs center Mats Sundin, Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Mike Knuble have been named the NHL's 'Three Stars' for the week ending March 2...

Washington CapitalsSECOND STAR – TIM THOMAS, G, BOSTON BRUINS Thomas video

Thomas went 3-0-0 with a 0.97 goals-against average, .962 save percentage and one shutout, stopping 75 of 78 shots as the Bruins (35-23-6, 76 points) moved to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. He made 22 saves in a 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators Feb. 26, recording his sixth career NHL shutout. On Feb. 28 he stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and finished the week by stopping 26 of 28 shots in a 3-2 shootout win over the Atlanta Thrashers Mar. 1. Thomas has posted a 23-14-4 record, 2.36 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and two shutouts in 45 games this season.

Nice job Timmay!

6:26 p.m.
Waiting on word on the Bruins final lineup. I would gather that it has not changed from Saturday.

6:40 p.m.
My guess on the lineup, based on the scratches -- Allen, Nokenlainen, Schaefer:
Chara-Wideman (sg)Thomas
Ference-Ward (bg)Auld
Stuart-Hnidy Go Bruins!

7:02 p.m.
Looks like Christobal Huet is in goal for Washington.

First Period
0:00: VERSUS had some terrific things to say about Boston, and indicated that "structure and accountability" were important in the B's system. They also pointed to Marc Savard and Zdeno Chara. They called Chara a Norris Trophy candidate.

:32: The Caps Matt Cooke just smoked one into the B's goal. Wow. 1-0, Caps. It was the fastest start of the year for Washington.

1:13: Caps on the PP. Huet (Hew-et) is now (Hugh ay).

6:18: Hey, that Ovechkin guy is pretty okay. 2-0, Caps. 50 goals for Alex.

6:53: Chara and Donald go for a dosey-do. But it goes greco-roman a little too quick for there to be a winner.

8:08: 3-0 Wash. Ovechkin is no joke. That was just crazy.

9:29: 4-0 Wash. Alex Auld is in. I haven't seen the ice tilt away from the B's like this in a LONG time.

15:31: 5-0 Caps. Ovechkin. Hat trick. Nuf said.

End 1: 6-0 Caps. I think I am going to take a break, folks. It's just not our night. 

Second Period
7:52:  Gutsy move by Shawn Thornton. Donald Brashear is a big, big due. And Thorts held his own. Washington is still in control 7-1, but the B's have stopped the bleeding. Tim Thomas is back in goal and has played very well in the second.

I don't expect the last fight to be the last fight. Remember these teams play on Saturday.

Third Period
tomorrow is another day, folks. Sleep tight.
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